Sunday, February 06, 2005

Dentistry is Number One Choice!

Dentistry is first choice


Walk into the stomatology (dental) faculty of the Moscow Medical Academy (MMA) and you’d think you’ve got the wrong place. Instead of cold clinical rooms that are stark, you’d be welcomed by a warm reception area and rooms that have got their own colour scheme.

The sweet pastel walls are to quieten the nerves of patients and to make it a pleasant environment for lecturers and students to spend time in. With the weather cold most of the time in Russia, every bit of warmth helps.

There are specific rooms for different types of surgeries and the faculty also houses a small museum with exhibits that show the development of dental equipment and treatment. One interesting item is an old machine with a pedal that resembles a sewing machine.

Dentistry is the most sought after course in Russia while medicine is second choice. It is extremely competitive to get into dentistry and only the creme de la creme get in.

Dentistry is the most sought after course in Russia. It is extremely competitive to get into dentistry and only the creme de la creme get in.
“In Russia and Europe, dentistry is the most popular and is harder to get in than medicine,” says Prof Irina M. Makeyeva, head of stomatology department at MMA in Moscow.

The university enrols an average of 60 to 80 students for dentistry each year, with about 10% to 15% comprising foreign students, mainly from China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Although MMA’s dentistry programme is only a few years old compared to the Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry with 370 students, says Prof Makeyeva: “Our faculty is the best because our dean gives us money to have excellent facilities; we are among the few with the phantom system.”

The phantom system allows students to practise on dummies, which she calls “John”. Students from the second year onwards get to practise surgery, anaesthesia and other procedures on John which has very “real” tissues.

The department is also proud of its state-of-the-art sterilisation instrument that resembles a washing machine in shape and size. It has also just introduced teaching via video-conferencing. MMA also boasts of having on its staff one of the best orthodontic surgeons in Russia.

Not just confined to teaching, the faculty also provides dental treatment to the public, including lots of foreigners, at very low charges. For example, a root canal costs only US$30 (RM114).

There are 10 rooms for students to learn under the department of operative dentistry. They can treat their family, relatives and the public for free.

“Phantom” classes are for second year students where they do practical work on dummy patients. Prof Natalya Zhokhova says the same system is used in the United States.

Read the remaining article here.

From all indicators Dentistry is in a GOLDEN AGE!

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